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Anong Halaga ng Boto Mo?

Kaliwa’t kanan ang pangangampanya ng mga tumatakbong pulitiko sa kani-kanilang mga lugar, kamayan dito kamayan doon, mga mukang makikita mong nakadikit kung saan-saang parte ng inyong kalsada, mga parapernalyang nakadikit sa mga sasakyan, mga  damit na personal na ginawa at nilagyan ng kani kanilang mga muka at pangalan, kanya kanyang bisita sa mga bahay ng bawat mamamayan sa kanilang lugar, mga meeting de avance na nagsasabi ng kani-kanilang mga pangako. Lahat ng ito ay kanilang mga estratihiya upang makuha ang nag-iisa mong “BOTO”. Lahat sila nangangako ng ikagaganda ng inyong lugar, tama nga naman diba? bakit nga ba sila tatakbo kung mangangako lang sila ng kapalpakan sa inyong lugar? Ikaw iboboto mo ba ang ganitong klaseng tao kung puro kapangitan ang plataporma sa inyong lugar? diba hindi? Ikaw alam mo ba ang halaga ng boto mo? kung para saan kung bakit ka boboto?

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Napakahalaga ng boto mo, isang boto na maaring magbago ng inyong hinaharap, isang boto na maaring mag alis sa atin sa kahirapan, isang boto na maaring magbago ng di kaaya-ayang sitwasyon sa inyong lugar. Ikaw natanong mo ba ang sarili mo na tama ba ang desisyon mo sa taong iboboto mo? O isa ka maraming taong walang dignidad na para sa isang daan o dalawang daang piso ay mabibili ang napakaimportante mong boto? Naisip mo ba na yang isang daang piso na yan na maaaring napunan ang inyong kalamnan sa isang buong araw ay sana nagdala sayo at sa inyong pamilya sa isang mas mabuting sitwasyon kung mayroon ka lang sanang paninindigan na iboto ang taong karapat-dapat sa inaasam nilang isang boto mo?

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Ngayon, buong katapatan kong sinabi na isa ako sa mga taong nawawalan ng gana na bumoto ngayong halalan dahil sa wala namang progreso akong nakikita sa aming lugar. Taon taon nalang inaalala ng bawat daan daang pamilya dito sa aming lugar ang walang humpay na pagbaha, hindi lamang tipikal na pagbaha ngunit pagbahang minsan ay lampas tao na at higit pa roon ang baha ay nananatili sa loob ng dalawa hanggang tatlong buwan bago tuluyang humupa.  Taon taon ganito ang nangyayari sa aming lugar at dahil dito maraming residente ang nagkakasakit at nakakaawa pa dito ay puros kabataan, marami ring estudyante ang nahihinto ang pag-aaral dahil sa mga eskwelahang okupado ng mga residenteng nag evacuate dahil apektado ng pagbaha, maraming kabuhayan ang nalugi at pamilyang nagutom. Karamihan sa ilang myembro ng pamilya ay napipilitang lumisan at mangupahan sa ibang lugar upang hindi maapektuhan ang kanilang trabaho kahit ang kapalit pa nito ay pagkahiwalay sa kanilang pamilya at isa na ako doon. Tuwing katapusan ng linggo umuuwi ako upang makapiling ang mahal na pamilya, babaybayin sakay ng mabagal na bangka para makarating sa tahanan at tuwing mapupunta ako sa ganitong sitwasyon hindi ko mapigilan ang maluha dahil sa awang nararamdaman sa bawat pamilyang madaraanan mo na walang pagpipilian kundi ang magtiis sa kanilang sitwasyon dahil sa kahirapan. Hindi ko nais na umalis sa aming bayan dahil mahal ko ito at dito na ako pinanganak hanggang magkaisap, dito na ako namulat sa lahat ng bagay sa mundo. Ngunit sa panahong katulad nito na wala ka ng magawa at gustuhin nalang na lumipat ng mas maayos na lugar.

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Naglakas ako ng loob na isulat ito dahil nagbabaka sakali akong mapansin ang hinaing ng aming lugar na taon taon nalang pinoproblema. Nakakasawa ng bumoto kung wala ka namang nakikitang pagbabago sa inyong lugar. Minsan nga natanong ko sa sarili ko kung talaga bang binabalewala nalang talaga ang ganitong problema sa aming lugar. Isang simpleng maayos na drainage lang naman ang inaasam namin hindi nyo pa mabigay? Para saan pa ang mga tax na kinakaltas nyo sa amin buwan buwan kung sa isang simpleng hinaing hindi nyo pa masolusyonan? Para saan pa ang boto ng bawat isa sa amin kung naluklok kana sa pwesto pero walang pagbabago?

Ikaw para saan ang boto mo?

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Would You Be Truly Free?

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A Scottish theologian wrote, “We usually think of murder, adultery or theft as among the worst sins. But the root of all sin is slavery to self-sufficiency or “independence from God”. One would have to conclude so after looking at how God systematically removes self-sufficiency from our hearts before He begins to seriously use us. Look at this snapshot of a very young David. Self-absorbed, kicking and struggling, he mirrors what so many of us are like when enslaved by self-sufficiency.

The first portrait of David is in Psalm 55:2-5, “I am restless in my complaint, surely distracted, because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. “The turmoil in
David’s inner man is unmistakable, “distracted” (v2), “heart in anguish” (v4), overwhelmed by “fear, trembling, horror” (v5).

The second portrait of David is many years later, towards the end of his 10 years ordeal in the wilderness, fleeing Saul and his cohort. Psalm 68:6, “God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land,” Mind you, David’s circumstances have not changed. He’s managed to slip away from Saul’s assassins at every turn; but they continue to stalk him. But now note that the “I and me” pronouns and their derivatives are gone. Now he clearly looks “Godward” for creature comforts. (Psalm 68:19-20) Obviously David’s been freed, liberated by years of communing with God in the wilderness. The two portraits are as differents as night from day!

This is what happens when God liberates one from slavery to self-sufficiency. This is what Jesus meant in John 8:32 and 36, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. If the Son sets you free, you are truly free. “This is what it looks like when one is free and ready for His purposes.

Another words for “self-sufficiency”  is “disconnection from God” which is demonstrated by our actions. If not by our lips, declaring that we do not need Him, Self sufficiency compulsively drives us until we bend or crack and eventually check out with an ulcer, a nervous breakdown, even a heart attack, or a stroke. In one day, everything you’ve held on to for dear life, your titles, your possessions, your trophies are reduced to irrelevance.

The third portrait of David is in Psalm 71, the prayer of an elderly King David for deliverance. Obviously it is someone who was no stranger to suffering and trails, someone who clearly knew whereof he speaks. (Psalm 71:9) David had brought Israel to its greatest peak of power and stability. In the following years the nation had  almost mythologized David.

But this is the background now; two insurrections by much loved sons, rape and murder in the family, this is probably why David wished to remain anonymous. Psalm 71:10-13, “For my enemies have spoken against me; and those who watch for my life have consulted together saying, God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver. O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help! Let  those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.“ Think about David’s deep grief.

Psalm 71 takes us, through real and multiplied adversities in David’s life, trials, suffering because of ungodly foes and because of an uncertain future yet verses 19-20 says, “For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens,you who have done great things;  God, who is like You? You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

Talk about purposefully getting to know God. This Psalm leads us to know Him in so many different ways and know that He is both necessary and sufficient. This Psalm is first and foremost about completely trusting God, a frenzied call to walk away from chronic self-sufficiency and a call to turn to total dependence on God. Psalm 71:14, “But I will always have hope.” Evidently this Psalm states that in our darkest, most  difficult days, it calls us to anchor our hope, our very life on God.

 

 

 

Intimacy with God through HATE

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Being intimate with God by studying the Word, prayer and loving God are all good. But have you ever thought of intimacy with God through hate? Hate means to detest something, But is hate always wrong?

Psalm 45:6-7 “Your throne O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hate wickedness;” God hates sin and we should too. The reality is that you live in the flesh and your flesh loves sin. But if you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit lives in you and the Holy Spirit hates sin. So You’ve got this battle going on whether you like it or not.

Another problem is when we pick and choose which sins we will hate we create a level of sin that is acceptable to us. We give ourselves license to sin. That is why we must be specific in confessing our sins so the Holy Spirit can help us root out whatever sin we are committing. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to produce in us the same kind of hatred for sin.

There are many things written in the Bible that deal with what God hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.” Notice there are five issues that deal with the individual’s own weakness, the last two deals with how we can damage and affect other people. The key is to look at the sin and go to the opposite direction of that sin. This will enable you to draw close to God.

A. The opposite of pride (haughty eyes) is humility.

Matthew 18:4, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

B. The opposite of a lying tongue is integrity,

1 Kings 9:4, “As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,”

C. The contrast for hands that shed innocent blood is we should defend the defenseless. 

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this; to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

D. To stop a heart the devises wicked plans, we should be proactively good by serving the Lord.

Galatians 6:10, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

E. Feet that run rapidly to evil are stopped if we immediately obey God.

1 Samuel 15:22, “Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”

F. The opposite of a false witness who utter lies is that of a person who shows no favoritism.

James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others, It is full of mercy and good deeds, It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” 

G. The opposite of one who spreads strife among brothers is one who lives in peace.

Ephesian 4:3 “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Are the sins in your life you have accepted? Do you hate what God hates or do you just hate some of what God hates? If you were to ask God to enable you to hate something in your life right now, what would it be.?

 

– CCF Chronicle Vol. 10 No. 31

 

Living in a House does not make it a Home

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, slave and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ; May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, i felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (Jude 1:1-3)

Like most of the other general epistles, the title of this little book takes its name from its author. Most scholars identify the writer as Jude the half-brother of Jesus for at least two reasons. First, he identified himself as the “brother of James”. Second Matthew 13:55 records the names of the brothers of Jesus as James and Judas, Jude grew up in the same house as Jesus but sad to say he did not connect with Him. In fact, being in this close proximity with truth but refusing to connect with that truth made Jude antagonistic of Jesus (John 7:2-9) Like his older brother James, Jude did not place his faith in Jesus while the Lord was still alive. Only after the crucifixion and resurrection did the scales fall from Jude’s eyes and he became a follower of his half-brother, Jesus.

The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus produced a tremendous change in Jude. Here is a person that ate breakfast with Jesus, most likely shared a bedroom with Him. Jude lived with Jesus for all of his formative years, yet did not connect with Him. And so again, the wonderful grace of God reaches down and the brothers of Jesus who didn’t believe in Him come to faith and two of them are selected to write books in the New testament. What does it mean to be intimate; To be intimate or close means being near in space of time, being near in relationship or closely related by kinship of association. These are all based on proximity not connection. Connection is the key. When Jude connected to Jesus, it changed everything about him. He became intimate with Jesus because he understood who Jesus is.

“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” “That they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause division, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.” (Jude 1:14, 18-19) Jude’s purpose in his letter was twofold; he wanted to expose the false teachers that had infiltrated the Christian community, and he wanted to encourage Christians to stand firm in the faith and fight for the truth. Believers were to do this by remembering the teaching of the apostles, building each other up in the faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and keeping themselves in the love of God.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:20-25)

Why do we want to finish well? Because Jesus is coming back and verse 21 describes an attitude of life that is motivated by the promise of our Lord’s return. In His mercy, He will come for us and take us to Himself. So Jude begins and ends with the fact that we are the called, we are the kept, and we are the beloved and the Lord has committed Himself to keep us from stumbling and make sure when the battle is over we’ll be standing in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.

Remember that God is infinite and everyday is an opportunity to know more about Him. It’s never too late. Unlike Jude who lived with Jesus but had no connection with Him while He was with him, we must be diligent in building our Christian life in faith, hope, and love, exercising spiritual discernment, and committing ourselves to Christ.

 

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Change My Heart Oh God

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The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel was held captivate in the land of Babylon during the seventy years of exile from Jerusalem. King Nebuchadnezzar had forcibly taken him away together with the nation of Judah as captives.

   “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:24) In this verse, God is talking to the people of Israel. They knew that they were His chosen people, had heard of His faithfulness from their fathers and had seen His hand of judgment upon them when He took them from their promised land and made them captives in Babylon. And yet they were lost in their own sin. They put their trust not in God but rather in the work of their own hands. They lived to satisfy their own desires rather than to please God.

   This is strangely similar to what is happening today, If we continue to hear God’s Word, and turn a deaf ear; if we continue to see our real need, but turn our backs; we put ourselves and all that we hold dear in danger. How then do we go about changing our ways?

1. Repentance

Do you know what the theological term for “change of mind” is? It is the word “repentance.” To repent literally means to change your mind. Once you choose to repent, God then steps into your life and makes changes. You can’t change everything but God can change you.

   “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.” (Ezekiel 36:25) God is speaking figuratively in this verse. He wants to cleanse us from the pollution and filthiness of our sin, false gods, false worship, false opinions and false hopes. Why don’t we each search our hearts now and repent of our sins, bringing it in prayer to our faithful Father.

2. Replacement

   “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

   Most of us have figured out how to look so beautiful and so in control on the outside. But inside, where no one but God can see, it’s very different story. Inside there are those secrets that no one knows; that darkness that we hope no one ever finds out; those wounds that remove; the answers no one can give us; the fear and insecurity and frustration of not really being sure why we’re here or where we’re going.

   The trouble that hides behind our image of strength is really telling us that someone’s missing; that somehow we are away from the God who is the source of our life and of all that’s missing inside us.

   The greatest Heart Specialist in the universe is more than willing to perform spiritual heart surgery on each of us. We need a heart of flesh. This heart can only come from God. That’s why we need a Savior. Not just a religion about a Savior. In fact, the sin-cancer is so horrific that it took Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross to cleanse and cure the sin of mankind.

3. Renewal

   “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:27)

   The Holy Spirit works within us to become gradually more and more like Him. When God wants to renew us, He sometimes has to remake us. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He enables us to “walk” in obedience to carefully follow the laws and decrees of God. The secret to changing your life is not willpower. It’s God giving you the will and His power through the Holy Spirit to do what needs to be done.

   When we repent of our ways, that’s when God can replace and renew our hearts and lives so we can celebrate in the newness of life living in the power of His Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save, he is mighty to save
Forever, Author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as you find me, all my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow, everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save, he is mighty to save
Forever, Author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen king, Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen king